Thursday, January 29, 2015

Catalina 2013 | #TBT

If you're in California and you have some time for an island adventure, then I definitely suggest Catalina Island. You can get there by ferry from several ports dotting the coast from Orange County to LA, and then there's always the helicopter route which is obviously much faster!

Looking out the window of the ferry, you will likely see a pod of dolphins at some point.


There are beautiful harbors here.


I love the harbor views that overlook the historic casino.


Which is, by the way, a world-renowned dive site.


The Jacques Cousteau plaque is here - of course underwater.



Check out our dive, just outside the famous Catalina Casino. YES the video is unbearably long; it was my first GoPro video and I hadn't yet figured out how to edit as well as I should have, but you can click through a little of it to get a sense of what it feels like to be floating around deep in that kelp forest:


The Casino is no longer an operating gambling casino ("Too bad!" said you, and me too) but it is open for special events and performances, and allows tours.


The tile work is quite stunning.


We stayed at the Hamilton Cove resort, which has spacious and fairly affordable little condos each of which come with their own golf cart. This is a major bonus considering you really can't get get use of a car on Catalina Island, but you do need something decent to get you around. The golf carts are how everyone does it.

View from our balcony:


View down to the private beach cove:


 Golf cart fun!


It's the perfect place for, say... a 10-year anniversary weekend.


Deer abound, and are totally unafraid of people and let you get pretty close.


At the time I visited, I had yet to become a hunter and my dominant thought was, "Aww, how cute they are!" Now I look back on these photos and still think the deer are as cute as can be, but I also can't help but think, "If I were hunting right now..."


Another big thing on Catalina is bicycling - but not just on any bike. With the major hills around town, it would not be a very leisurely ride. Here you see a motorized bicycle that can work like any other, but also allows you to rev it up with its very own engine! The box behind the seat (which reads, "Do Not Sit") is the battery. After riding all over town on this thing I felt a pretty strong need to have one forever and ever...


There are adorable little shops and places for treats all over the main walking area.


There's killer sushi just off the main strip:


And great touristy-fun out on the long pier:


And nightlife. Yes. I won't lie and say I didn't stay up 'till 2 am belting out Beck's "Loser" on karaoke, because I did. It was why we were late going out to brunch the next day.


Brunch.


And every now and then, a weird sight. We know there's no hunting in Avalon, so I'm guessing these hawks are here for seagull control. Not sure what they're up to with that German Short-haired Pointer, but I want in.


Fancy doing even more on the water?


There is more than one para-sailing outfit, and the view from up there is truly stunning! Here we are before heading up...


Up... and away!


Opt for the full "let out" - you will be a speck to the boat, the boat will be a speck to you, but you will see many other boats and the whole island unfold before you like a pop-up book.


Later you can come down off your adrenaline high by just playing in the sand...


Catalina Island is a dream!


Thanks for looking :)

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